An Achilles tendon rupture is a common injury that involves a tearing of the thick band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel and helps with nearly any kind of foot movement. The Achilles tendon can be partially or completely torn and most commonly occurs as a result of repeated stress on the tendon.
Most Achilles tendon injuries require surgery to reattach the tendon and allow the patient to resume normal foot function. Nonsurgical treatment is only reserved for the mildest of cases or for patients who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Until surgery is performed, patients will likely suffer from recurring (chronic) tears.
During the Achilles tendon repair procedure, an incision is made along the back of the ankle to access the tendon. The torn ends are then reattached using strong sutures that are placed on both ends. The sutures are tied together and the incision is then closed.
After surgery, patients will need to undergo six to eight weeks of physical therapy while the foot heals in a walking boot or cast. The foot may be positioned differently within the cast as healing progresses to maximize movement.